The Philadelphia Flyers have had an abundance of historical and memorable moments. Listed below are just a few of those moments that have brought the team, and the fans, where we are today.
1967/68: Nearly 40 years after the Quakers were forced to fold after just 1 season in Philadelphia the NHL returned to the "City of Brotherly Love" as the Flyers are one of 6 expansion teams the NHL adds to double the league to 12 teams. The Flyers would make their debut on October 11th losing to the California Seals on the road 5-1. A week later they would get their first win beating the St. Louis Blues on the road 2-1. On October 19th the Flyers would finally make their home debut as they shutout the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 at The Spectrum. The Flyers would go on to complete their inaugural season by finishing atop the all expansion Western Division with a 31-32-11 record. However, down the stretch of the season the Flyers were forced to play on the road after a winter storm blew off part of the roof at The Spectrum. Playing their home playoff games in Quebec City the Flyers would miss their home ice advantage as they are beaten by the St. Louis Blues in 7 games.
1973/74: Led by Dave Schultz's 348 penalty minutes the Flyers earn the reputation as a brawling team known as "The Broad Street Bullies" as they fight and claw their way to the top of the Western Division with a solid record of 50-16-12. Along the way, Bernie Parent establishes himself the top goalie in the NHL taking home the Vezina with an impressive 1.89 GAA. In the playoffs the Flyers got off to a fast start as they swept the Atlanta Flames in 4 straight games to reach the semifinals for the second straight season. In the semifinals the Flyers would knock off the New York Rangers in a hard fought 7-game series in which the home team won all 7 games. The Flyers secret weapon at the Spectrum may have been Kate Smith whose version of "God Bless America" played occasionally in lieu of "The Star Spangled Banner" usually meant a Flyers win. After splitting the first 2 games of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins on the road, the Flyers returned home to a rousing ovation at the Spectrum and continued their home ice magic beating the Burins in Games 3 and 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. However, the Bruins would get back into the series by winning 5-1 in Boston. Needing a little more magic to close out the series the Flyers brought Kate Smith to sing "God Bless America" live fans roared through out as the amazing unbeaten streak of home wins when Kate Smith sings continues as the Flyers edge out a 1-0 victory to claim their first ever Stanley Cup Championship. Bernie Parent who blanked the Bruins in Game 6 would go on to win the Conn Smythe award for playoff MVP.
1974/75: The Flyers continue to bully their way through the NHL as they win the newly established Patrick Division with a NHL best record of 51-18-11, as Dave Schultz spends 472 minutes in the penalty box leaving a bunch of broken and bruised bodies in his wake. After a first round bye the Flyers would make it to the semifinals for the 3rd straight season by sweeping the Toronto Maple Leafs in 4 straight games. The Flyers appeared to be heading for another easy sweep as they took the first 3 games against the New York Islanders, with Bernie Parent shutting out the Isles in Games 2 and 3. However, the Islanders would keep their hopes alive with an overtime win in Game 4, and then they proceeded to take the next 2 to force a 7th game. With the Stanley Cup slipping away the Flyers called on Kate Smith again and she came through singing her heart out as the Flyers advanced to the Finals with a 4-1 win. In the Finals the Flyers would get off to a quick start taking the first 2 games against the Buffalo Sabres at the Spectrum. However, the Sabres would battle back to even the series at 2 games a piece with 2 straight wins in Buffalo. Back at the Spectrum the Flyers ceased control of the series with a dominating 5-1 win. In Game 6 in Buffalo it would be Bernie Parent who would close the deal by setting a record with his 5th playoff shutout to earn his second straight Conn Smythe as the Flyers won their second straight Stanley Cup Championship 2-0.
1981/82: Despite strong seasons from Ken Linesman, Brian Propp and Bill Barber the Flyers would struggle as Coach Dan Quinn is fired and replaced by Bob McCammon. Under McCammon the Flyers would finish in 3rd place with a 38-31-11 record. In the playoffs the Flyers would be upended by the New York Rangers in 4 games failing to make at least the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 9 years.
1983/84: The Flyers continued to be one of the strongest teams in the NHL as new blood began to take over with Tim Kerr leading the way with a team high 93 points as the Flyers finished in 3rd place with a record of 44-26-10. However, once again the Flyers would experience a playoff let down as they are swept in 3 straight games by the Washington Capitals. Following the season both Flyers legends Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber would announce their retirements.
1984/85: Legendary Flyers player Bobby Clarke takes over the duties of General Manager as Mike Keenan takes over the coaching reigns. The new moves would provide new life to the Flyers who posted the best regular season record in the NHL at 53-20-7 as Goalie Pelle Lindbergh wins the Vezina Trophy.
1985/86: The Flyers appeared to be flying high again as they got off to a fast start and had a 10-game winning streak into mid November when out of nowhere tragedy struck, in he early morning hours of November 10th when Flyers star goalie Pelle Lindbergh crashed his Porsche into a brick wall in the Philadelphia suburb of Somerdale, NJ. Lindebergh would be declared brain dead as his organs were taken for transplants, as the young rising star from Sweden passed away at the age of 26. Playing with a heavy heart the Flyers continued their winning streak.
1986/87: A year after the tragic death of Pelle Lindbergh, Ron Hextall establishes himself as the Flyers new star in between the pipes winning the Vezina Trophy as the Flyers won their 3rd straight Division title with a record of 46-26-8. In the playoffs Hextall would rise to the occasion getting 2 shutouts in the first round
1994/95: A 4-month lockout would delay the start of the season until late January. However, when the season started the Flyers were ready to challenge for the cup as the reacquisition of Ron Hextall gave the young team a solid veteran goaltender. Shortly after the season started the Flyers would make another key deal landing Eric Desjardins, Gilbert Dionne and John LeClair from the Montreal Canadiens for Mark Recchi and a 3rd round draft pick. LeClair would immediately fit in joining Mikael Renberg and Eric Lindros to form the Flyers top scoring line known as the "Legion of Doom."
2000/01: With Eric Lindros sitting out the entire season due to lingering effects of his many concussions, while seeking to be traded as it became clear his Flyers career was over. However, the Flyers continue to play solid hockey as Bill Barber took over the coaching reigns in the middle of the season leading the Flyers to a solid 43-25-11-3 record.
2001/02: During the preseason the First Union Center is the scene of one of the most poignant moments following the September 11th terrorist attacks when a September 20trh exhibition game against the New York Rangers is stopped tied at 2 so fans attending the game can watch a speech by President George W. Bush in front of Congress.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out
2005/06: Coming out of the Lock Out the Flyers were a popular pick to win the Stanley Cup as the team that fell one game short of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004, added Free Agent Peter Forsberg, who once upon a time had been Flyer property but was dealt in the Eric Lindros trade, before coming to the NHL from Sweden and becoming one of the top players in the league. However, Forsberg spent most of the season battling a groin injury, as the Flyers spent the entire season dealing with players on the sidelines including Captain Keith Primeau who played in just nine games after sustaining a serious concussion that would eventually force him to retire.
2006/07: The Flyers stumbled out of the gate as they won just one of their first eight games, including an embarrassing 9-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, leading to the sudden resignation of GM Bobby Clarke, who was replaced by Paul Holmgren and the firing of Coach Ken Hitchcock who was replaced by John Stevens.With the playoffs far out of reach the Flyers focused on the future, trading Peter Forsberg to the Nashville Predators for Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, and 2007 1st and 3rd-round draft picks. They then focused on their needs in goal and were able to land Martin Biron from the Buffalo Sabres. The Flyers would go on to finish the season with a franchise worst record of 22-60-12.Following the season the Flyers would continue to work hard to improve, trading the Predators back their 1st Round draft for the rights to negotiate with impending unrestricted free agents Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. Both were signed to six-year contracts. After the draft the Flyers were even busier signing Free Agent Daniel Briere to an 8-year, $52 million contract, while trading Joni Pitkanen and Geoff Sanderson to the Edmonton Oilers for Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul.
2007/08: Coming off one of the worst seasons in Flyers history the team decided to return to its roots of physical defensive hockey. This led to some ugly incidents as several players served multiple game suspensions including Steve Downie who was suspended 25 games for hitting a vulnerable Dean McAmmond of the Ottawa Senators from behind during a pre-season game on September 25th. Jesse Boulerice would also receive a 25-game ban when he landed a cross check to Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks on October 10th. In the playoffs against the Washington Capitals the Flyers got off to a rocky start blowing a 4-2 lead in the third period of Game 1, as the Caps scored three unanswered goals to win 5-4. However, the Flyers would bounce back to win Game 2, as Martin Biron stopped all 24 shots in a 2-0 win. As the series shifted to Philadelphia the Flyers goal scoring took over winning the next two games with a combined 10 goals to take a 3-1 series lead. However, the Caps would rebound to win the next two games to force a seventh game in Washington. As was the rest of the series, Game 7 went back and forth as the game went into overtime tied 2-2. There Joffrey Lupul would win it for the Flyers with a power play goal to send the Flyers to the second round. In the second round the Flyers faced the number one seeded Montreal Canadiens, and again lost the opener in heartbreaking fashion as the Habs tied the game with 29 seconds left and won it in overtime 4-3 on a Tom Kostopoulos just 48 seconds into the extra session. However, led by the strong goaltending by Martin Biron who stopped 34 of 36 shots in Game 2, the Flyers again quickly rebounded to even the series with a 4-2 win. Biron was just as strong as the series shifted to Philly, stopping 32 shots, as the Flyers were out shot 34-14, but won 3-2 in Game 3. Biron, again took control in Game 4 stopping 36 of 38 shots as the Flyers won 4-2 to take a 3-1 series lead. Even as the series returned to Montreal, Biron was the story with standing a barrage in Game 5, as the Flyers won the series with a 6-4 win. In the Eastern Conference Finals the Flyers, would face their rivals from Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, before the series even started the Flyers suffered a setback as Kimmo Timonen was lost with a blood clot in his ankle. The Flyers would suffer another key injury as Braydon Coburn suffered a gruesome facial injury in Game 2, as the Penguins won the first three games. The Flyers would take Game 4, as Martin Biron stopped 36 of 38 shots in a 4-2 win. However, it only delayed the inevitable as the Penguins closed out the series with a 6-0 win in Game 5.
Stanley Cup Champions: (2) 1974, 1975
Stanley Cup Finals: (7) 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1985, 1987, 1997
Conference Finals: (14) 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2008
President's Trophy: None
Division Champions: (15) 1968, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004
Playoff Appearences: (33) 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009
Hall of Famers:(11) Keith Allen Coach GM 1969-1983 Bill Barber LW 1972-1984 Bobby Clarke C 1969-1984 Paul Coffey D 1996-1998 Dale Hawerchuk C 1995-1997 Roger Neilson Coach 1998-2000 Bernie Parent G 1967-71, 1972-79 Bud Piloe GM 1967/68-1970/71 Ed Snider Owner 1967-Present Darryl Sittler C 1981-1983/84 Allan Stanley D 1968/69
Retired Numbers: (5) 1 Bernie Parent G 1967-71, 72-79 4 Barry Ashbee D 1970-1974 7 Bill Barber LW 1972-1984 16 Bobby Clarke C 1969-1984 99 Wayne Gretzky C (Retired by NHL
Captains: (16) Lou Angotti 1967/68 Ed Van Impe 1968/69-1972/73 Bobby Clarke 1972/73-1978/79 Mel Bridgman 1979/80-1980/81 Bill Barber 1981/82-1982/83 Bobby Clarke 1982/83-1983/84 Dave Poulin 1984/85-1989/90 Ron Sutter 1989/90-1990/91 Rick Tocchet 1991/92 No Captain 1992/93 Kevin Dineen 1993/94 Eric Lindros 1994/95-1999/00 Eric Desjardins 1999/00-2001/02 Keith Primeau 2001/02-2005/06 Peter Forsberg 2006/07 Jason Smith 2007/08 Mike Richards 2008/09-Present